A Sikh student was “racially abused” and brutally assaulted after being thrown into a swimming pool in West Texas, the Sikh Coalition, an advocacy group for the community in the U.S.,said.
Four men brutally assaulted the unnamed graduate Sikh student, who works as a part-time pizza delivery person, the advocacy group said.
According to a media release of the Sikh Coalition, the four men intercepted the youth while he was on his way to deliver pizzas to a home. “They grabbed the Sikh youth and threw him into a swimming pool“.
“The four attackers surrounded the pool, kicking him in the head and body. Every time he tried to escape, they would stomp or hit him. For 20 minutes, he swam for his life trying to escape,” the release alleged.
“I was terrified that I would die that night,” the victim said. “No one should have to endure something like this just because of their religion, ethnicity or appearance,” he was quoted as saying by the Coalition.
The Sikh man, who had to go to a hospital for the treatment of his brutal injuries, “is still emotionally scarred because his attackers have been roaming free”. It alleged that the local police “failed to respond adequately“.
“It is clear from the attackers’ references to ‘Osama bin Laden’ and ‘Go back to Afghanistan’ and the fact that they kicked off his turban” meant they “targeted not only him as an individual, but his Sikh identity”, the Coalition alleged.
The advocacy group contacted the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), which is investigating the matter as a possible federal hate crime, it said.